I was never one for memorizing scripture. I didn’t see the need for it, but over the past several years, I’ve changed my mind. I started after I heard a speaker talk about shelter verses. She told us she memorizes a few verses for difficult times, ones she could always rely on for encouragement. Now I look for verses that help me understand who God is, such as Philippians 2:5-11 and Colossians 1:15-20.
Memorizing, according to Dallas Willard, is more important than quiet time. It’s the most important way we participate in the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). “Our life takes a godly and good direction when our mind is consciously occupied with God’s written words. Those words then increasingly eliminate the conscious mental contents that would surely lead us away from God” (www.renovare.org).
Our minds are powerful, but easily distracted and even led astray. We need to be careful what we allow in our thoughts and be intentional with what occupies us. By keeping scriptures deep in our minds, “God’s words reside in our body, in our social environment, in the constant orientation of our will, and in the depths of our soul.” Memorization helps us abide in Jesus and his words abide in us (John 15:7-8). Hiding God’s word in our hearts causes his word to become a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:11 and 105). It’s never too late to start and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. It’s good exercise for the brain too!